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Getting close to nature and latest technology is helping those living with dementia in South Australia

While a snail care farm in the Coorong is assisting those living with dementia by helping them feel valued, a multicultural smartphone app, recently launched in Adelaide helps careworkers give them culturally sensitive care.

A Coorong snail farm combines agriculture activities with social care for vulnerable people (Source: Alzheimer's Australia SA)
A Coorong snail farm combines agriculture activities with social care for vulnerable people (Source: Alzheimer's Australia SA)

Careship Coorong snail care farm is based on a Dutch initiative which combines agriculture activities with social care for vulnerable people. "It's been around for a while," confirms Claudio Ait-Touati Founder/Chairperson Careship Coorong. 

The organisation is working with Alzheimer's SA and groups of around 10 people or so people living with dementia plus care staff enjoy a day on the farm.

“The farm is an opportunity for people living with dementia to be valued for what they do,” says Founder/Chairperson Claudio Ait-Touati. She points out people are not forced into working and may choose to simply enjoy spending time outside or reading. “It’s really about what they want to do on the day; they can help with weeding, feeding, and anything else which needs doing on the farm.”

Mason Krollig from Alzheimer's SA says the farm enables those living with dementia to contribute to something meaningful. "This concept of care in Europe uses more traditional livestock farming, so this is a bit different," he says. 

Ms Ait-Tpiati highlights other benefits of care farms include been active in the outdoors and social interaction. She is very keen to see the care farm concept expand and is looking to develop a course for farmers to ensure the high standards of care farms are maintained.

The Cultura app provides workers with general cultural information and considerations (Source: Alzheimer's Australia SA)

In the technological world, the Cultura app provides workers with general cultural information and also considerations to help the careworker adapt their care to accommodate the individual cultural needs of people living with dementia.

“Available for free download, the Cultura app allows quick access to a wide range of information and resources identified as critical to support the provision of culturally sensitive dementia care,” says Kathryn Quintel, previous Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Australia SA and app initiator. “Cultura features 21 different cultures detailing generalist information, cultural and dementia care tips, and resources covering twenty-eight different topics including religion, communication style, eye contact, and food and diet.”

Additional functions will allow app users to compare information on other topics between cultures, such as comparing how eye contact is used in different cultures. 

For more information about these initiatives visit the Cultura website or snail care farm Facebook page.

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